Had about 10-15 games on it last night, not enough to make any huge decisions about it but I'll write a few things I noticed about the new game.
Sturdy: The game seems a lot more physically capable of handling abuse, as opposed to some older sterns with similar features. The well walker toy I believe the ball did not directly hit, as the ball would hit a rubber on the bottom of it. Not taking direct hits, tied together with whatever mechanism on it that makes it lean back when hit just seem solid. The ramps, although plastic, already have metal protectors on the bottom of them. I feel like they didn't skimp out on adding metal where the game needed to be protected.
Skill Shot: I'm not going to explain the rules, but it's pretty sweet. Almost like Medusa's skill shot in that you have to time the ball to go over rollovers as they're lit. Skill shots ranged from around 500k-1.5 million that I was seeing.
Appearance is awesome for playability: With the exception of the annoyingly large well walker that gets in the way of your prison letters, I can't think of anything else on the game I find irritating to look at that inhibits gameplay.
Stop and Go Play: Two of the games main shots feed these pop bumpers...and as gameplay videos had us worried, the pop bumpers are a nuisance. It's almost comical how long they stay up there at times. The feed from the pop bumpers isn't as bad as I've been told. Since the ball is coming down at an angle, even if it looks to be going stdm you still have a good chance of saving. Anyways the two main shots that feed the pop bumpers are the barn shot left orbit, and i think it's called the right shot, just left of the prison. This left orbit shot is awesome, as if hit cleanly enough, will wrap all the way around the back of the playfield, then do a small loop on its own back around the skill shot area. Looked really cool the first few times it happened to me and that was one of the few times I wasn't pissed off it was in the pop bumpers. The two main ramps feed their same flippers they were hit from, just like in Scared Stiff. This makes some form of flow possible, but only to the same effect as a Scared Stiff, or BSD would give you. It feels like the game wants you to put it in the pop bumpers as much as possible...if not go after the prison and well walker.
Marriage of mustang and metallica?: I think the game felt more like a mustang with the flow of a metallica. They once again brough back the dropped flippers (with possibly a larger flipper gap) which make cross playfield shots easier and backhands (a moot point in TWD) difficult or even impossible. I couldn't think of any situations in which the backhand would've been useful anyways so it didn't matter. Anyways if you're a casual player then the dropped flippers won't be a factor, but as a tournament player making mental notes of where on the flipper to make shots from on as many shots as possible, it is a huge noticeable difference. It's not a bad thing either, it just takes getting used to, like when you first play a mustang (or shadow even). It also makes trapping the ball a little more challenging, especially during multiball.
Mode Start: I love this. Great risk reward. Left three drop targets light a mode start, but those targets are not a gimme. You're immediately putting yourself in danger when you decide to go for them, but bringing these modes into multiball was extremely lucrative and I felt worth the risk, especially if you had only one drop target to go. Sometimes the game was friendly and the ball would graze against all three to knock em down and light the mode starts. So you knock down the three drop targets, it lights four different shots for the four modes and you pretty much pick which shot you like the best for the mode you're going for. Modes as of now I think are just shooting that same shot over and over again which is boring, but they'll figure it out.
Right Ramp: Looks steeper than it is. They had a great way of adjusting the angle at the back half of this ramp to help the ball continue around the ramp as opposed to spitting back down the middle on a 3/4 shot. This ramp is also extremely tight to hit, as are most shots on the game.
Prison: Much more difficult to hit than it looks. From the right flipper, the well walker is blocking a little bit of the pathway so it has to be precise. From the left flipper, it is early on the flip as if you were doing a backhand to the mansion on Addams (that's the timing I noticed at least). Not all hits were registering which was strange (same with the well walker).
Borg right orbit through pop bumper shot: as difficult as advertised. It's a little easier on the fly as sometimes a clean shot would be stopped halfway up the orbit by a...you guessed it...pop bumper. Fear not though, the ball spends so much time in those pop bumpers, that it will give you credit for that shot when the ball is inevitably popped up from the bumper over that switch.
That's all I can think of now. I was really just trying to get used to the shots when I was playing so as far as scoring strategy, I have next to nothing.